Explore New Orleans

Blue-Ribbon, Big Easy Bakeries

Carb-loading Crescent City-style

The butter did it. It’s what got me hooked. Fancy butter, the kind that’s been aged a bit, generously salted and churned, not centrifuge extracted; the expensive kind. Walking into a bakery, it’s immediately evident if good butter being used. The scent is on the air. It smells rich and lush and raises the hair on your arms. These days in New Orleans you can trip over the number of bakeries using fine ingredients. We’re spending our dough on these. 

Mayhew Bakery 

In a recently renovated church, chef Kelly Mayhew turns out baguettes that are deep-crusted and lofty at once; his assistant baker, Jess, is known for her stunning ginger cookies. Swirl breads filled with vegetables, fruit pies (seasonal), dark-chocolate tarts, crisp-creamy canalés and more. 

Mayhew Bakery New Orleans
A former corporate baker for Brennan’s, Mayhew is now making a name for himself at his new Mid-City location. (©Mayhew Bakery)

Levee Baking Co.

In the Garden District, chef Christina Balzebre and team are baking sourdough from fresh-milled grains, cheesy rosemary-and-roasted garlic scones, heirloom-cornmeal jam tarts and possibly the most lovely lemon-berry poppy seed loaf, ever. 

Levee Baking Co.New Orleans
Levee’s chocolate babka knot and fig galette. (©Levee Baking Co.)

La Petite Sophie 

It’s worth the trek to seek out to Jefferson for Jeff and Lya Becnel’s stunning kouign-amann (buttery, sugary, layered Breton pastry), insanely flaky croissants (order the Everything with scallion-cream cheese filling), brioche feuilletée, carrot cake of dreams and fruity “pop tartes.” 

Le Petite Sophie bakery New Orleans
A cream cheese-filled Everything croissant from Le Petite Sophie. (©La Petit Sophie)

tM Breads and Pastries 

Tucked amid tall buildings in the Central Business District, this excellent bakery has pretty pastries (lemon meringue tarts, apple Danish, donuts), tender quick breads and cakes. The crackly, sugary palmier (aka elephant ears) and the breads deserve your love and attention. 

tM bakery New Orleans
tM Breads and Pastries’ perfect palmier. (©tM Breads and Pastries)